Edwards' annual directory to the inhabitants, institutions, incorporated companies, manufacturing establishments, business, business firms, etc., etc., in the city of St. Louis for ... /

One hundred years ago M. LacledeLiguest, , with a few attents, landed on the spot where
now stands the mighty City of St. Louis, to which the present volume is, we hope, a faithful and
reliable director. On the One Hundreth Anniversary of its settlement, it will not be deemed inap-
propriate in us to take a retrospective glance at the past, and draw some comparisons with the present

Among the many sites which the vast domain of uninhabited territory in the Mississipi valley
presneted for founding a city, that on which St. Louis now stands was selected by Liguest, on the
15th of February, 1764, as one possessing peculiar advantages for the fur trade and for defence against the Indians. The confluence of the various rivers in the immediate neighborhood was a desideratum in the estimation of the trapper, and it has since become of vast importance to the place in establish-
ing it as a centre for commercial and manufacturing enterprises. The statistics of these early time
show that for fifteen successive years, ending 1804, the annual value of the furs collected at this port
amounted $203,750. The number of deer skins was 158,000; of beaver 36,900 ; of otter 8,000 ; of
bear, 5,100, and of buffalo 850. The population was, at this period, between 1,500 and 2,000, one-
half of whom were absent a great part of each year as trappers and voyagers. it will readily be
perceived that the element which gave the settlement existence were not of a character adequate to
foster it byond the limits of a frontier village; and accordingly, as late as 1820, we find the accession
of population had swelled the original number to only 4,598. in 1813 the first brick house was erected;
in 1817 the first steamboat arrived—both important events, but neither of which became frequent un-
til several years after. in 1822St. Louis was chartered as a city, under the title given by Liguest, ,
in honor of the king of France, Louis Xv. From this date the increase of the city was rapid ; it
quickly spread beyond its fortified walls, and the old French village was soon swallowed up in the
young American city. (See map on next page.)

From 1825 to 1830 the influx of emigration began to began to be of improtance, the commerce of the
city took rapid onward strides. With 1829 the keel-boat entirely disappeared, and steamboats lined
the levee of the young giant city of the west. Extensive warehouses were erected, of brick and
stone, on a scale which shows that vision of the present were vividly portrayed to the minds of the
people of that day. in 1830 the population was 6,694 ; in 1840 16,469 ; in 1850 75,204 free, and 2,620
slaves, total 77,850. While at the present day, notwithstanding the existence of the terrible civi
war, the opearation of which has greatly affected the country upon which the city depends for
support, the population cannot fall short of 200,000.*

Though checked for a time by the war which has so seriously retarded the commercial prosperity
of the whole western country, St. Lousi hs now regained its energies, and is progressing more
rapidly than ever. The immense wealth of the city is partially shown by the tax list commencing
on page 97, which indicates a larger amount of taxable porperty in proportion to the poulation than
can be shown in any other city in the west. New business blocks have been erected, and others are
in progress, on a scale of elegance unsurpassed on this continent, while all the institutions for which
the city has been famous in years past, are in a flourishing and prosperous condition. The
Washington and St. Louis Universities , the Medical College , the O’Fallon Polytechnic Institute , and
the numerous other institutions of learning are crowded with students, while the elegant hotels (and
in this respect St. Louis ranks superior to any city in the world,) are filled with strangers from all

* for a full historical and descriptive sketch of St. Louis we refer our readers to “Edwards’ Great
West and her Commercial Metropolis,” for sale at all bookstores.